Nigeria Yet to Make Contact With Pirates Holding Oil Tanker Crew

Nigerian security forces have mounted an intensive search for pirates who raided an oil super tanker off it’s coast and seized 19 crew members but have so far not made any contact with the hostage takers, the West African country’s maritime agency said.

“At the moment we have not been able to establish contact with the pirates,” Dakuku Peterside, director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, told reporters Thursday in Abuja, the capital. “It is very unfortunate this is happening at a time we’re devoting a lot of efforts to making our waterways safe.”

Armed pirates boarded the supertanker, the Nave Constellation, late Tuesday about 77 nautical miles from Bonny Island, a key loading point for Nigerian crude, according to Doris Tryfon, a spokeswoman for Navios, the ship’s owner. Nine crew members swam to safety.

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